Best case scenario: Fausto Carmona, Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore all revert back to their strong form of years past, Jake Westbrook is fully recovered, Justin Masterson and David Huff/Aaron Laffey have career years and Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera and the other youngsters continue to improve. New manager Manny Acta better reaches Latin holdovers Jhonny Peralta and Rafael Perez than Eric Wedge did and the bullpen comes together. 83-88 wins, contend for division
Wost case scenario: Carmona and Perez become lost causes, Sizemore and Westbrook have lingering effects from injuries and the young starters don't step up to the challenge. Chris Perez can't handle the role of closer and Acta has little change on the club. With the team out of it in June, Peralta, Westbrook and other veterans with lengthy contracts are shopped. 65-70 wins, bottom feeders in division.
Realistic scenario: the team makes strides under Acta and several of the young players come into their own. While the future looks bright, the present will have to settle for mediocre: 75 wins, middle of the pack in division.